The Truth About Money-Back Guarantees

Published: 12/14/2015

Many patients ask if we offer money-back guarantees. We don’t. In our opinion, these programs represent a money-maker for clinics rather than a generosity toward patients. Why is this the case?

Generally speaking, clinics offering money-back guarantees seek to qualify and enroll patients who have the best chance for success so that the clinic will be unlikely to provide patient refunds. If you are above a specific age cut-off or have low AMH, high FSH, or a history of previous IVF treatment failures, you will typically be excluded from participating in a money-back guarantee program. If you are accepted, your agreement may allow the clinic to cancel your participation due to poor response to stimulation or other factors that may be discovered once the treatment process is underway.

Additionally, these programs do not typically cover the fees associated with your diagnostic work-up, medications, anesthesia, preimplantation genetic testing, and some IVF laboratory procedures such as ICSI, embryo biopsy, and cryopreservation.

Patients pay more to participate and, in theory, to “share” the financial risk. Assuming a single IVF cycle cost of $12,500, a 3-cycle money-back guarantee program costing a couple $32,000 would result in the following financial incentives for the clinic:

  • Program receives ~260% of its normal fee if IVF cycle is successful on 1st attempt.
  • Program receives ~130% of its normal fee is IVF cycle is successful on 2nd attempt.
  • Program receives ~85% of its normal fee if IVF is successful on 3rd attempt.

At ACFS, we simply cannot justify charging patients up to 3 times more than what they should have been paying for the service that was going to get them pregnant within 1-2 attempts anyway. We believe in offering a fair price for each cycle so that it can still be affordable if more than one treatment cycle is required. Furthermore, if you would qualify for a money-back guarantee because you are a lower-risk, good prognosis patient, you would almost certainly achieve a pregnancy within 1-3 IVF cycles at our center.

While we do not believe in money-back guarantees, ACFS continues to offer several other financial resources and incentives.